News & Events

Winter is here! What should you consider?

Remember – Prevention is better than Cure

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With the cold snap already with us, Square Mile Broking would like to remind you of some of the precautions to take in order to reduce the chance of injury or damage to your property, your staff or yourself this winter.

Although the majority of the areas noted below are common sense, our claims team will handle dozens of claims this winter which could have been either reduced in severity or fully prevented by adopting these basic suggestions.

Properties

  • Replace missing or broken roof tiles, clean out all roof gutters and downpipes and in particular all flat roofs should be inspected for moss growth and damage
  • Remove accumulated debris from around the property such as leaves and vegetation, paying particular attention to fire exits which may have become obstructed.
  • Ensure boilers have been serviced by an authorised engineer. Protect the system from freezing by the use of a frost stat which will protect the boiler from freezing up overnight or when the property is unoccupied.
  • Inspect any lagging to pipework particularly in areas of the property that are unheated.
  • Inspect nearby trees for damage and take remedial action if they could present a risk to property and/or people in the event of windstorm.
  • If there are any watercourses or ditches adjacent to your property where possible ensure they are clear of debris, if they are not your responsibility establish who is responsible and ask them to clear as appropriate.

Health and Safety

  • Utilise available weather forecasts to prepare for snow removal and gritting of car parks, pedestrian access ways etc. This may need to include hiring in snow removal contractors and equipment if the area is large. Car parks to be cleared of snow before staff or visitors arrive as the car park will be empty.
  • Where possible do not ask employees to shovel large amounts of snow, particularly in the morning or when temperatures are very low.
  • Ensure final Exit doors that open outwards, and paths leading from the property to a final place of safety are clear of snow and ice build-up.
  • Clear away snow and ice from around Hydrant covers that may be on your property and do not use salt or similar around the cast iron covers, as this may cause corrosion.
  • Prepare for snow and ice accumulation on roofs as the weight can exceed design expectations placing the entire roof at risk.
  • Prepare for snow falls from roofs. If in doubt do not use entrances that are under vulnerable roofs.
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers of the ‘Water’ type can freeze if they are positioned in exposed or unheated warehouse areas.
  • Sprinkler systems can be vulnerable to freezing, particularly equipment in remote pump houses. Ensure the sprinkler pump house is protected from freezing and any heating appliance is in full working order, including any temperature thermostat.

Driving in winter

  •  Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
  • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently.
  • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up full can quickly make you drowsy.
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
  • During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges

If you have any queries or urgent matters, please contact us on 0330 024 2980 or email info@squaremilebroking.com

If you need more information and support on potential claims, please view our claims forms on our website.